A Writer’s Guide to Beating Procrastination

Beat procrastination by writingI have to admit, the reason that my lack of blogging has been an exercise in procrastination. It didn’t start out that way. May ticked forward into June and now July, all without new posts. But I’m back with renewed energy and with some new topics. Including a guide to beating procrastination.

I’m an excellent procrastinator. I find ways, plenty that sound legitimate, to avoid tackling my to do list when it includes writing. I don’t mean to. Most of the time I say that I’m not feeling creative or I’m too busy with other stuff. Then days turn into weeks into months of time passing by and I’m no more the wiser for getting out of the mess I’ve created.

To get out of this bout I asked a friend (I’m looking at you Jeff Rivera!) to brainstorm topics that might be interesting to writers. And he came back with 20+. So if he can do it, what’s my problem? Part of it is understanding why I procrastinate. Is it lack of discipline? Is the well of ideas really dry? Is it that my tastes have changed and I don’t want to blog? My procrastination comes from not having a set time to write. I crash it into my other schedule, between tech jobs and editing jobs, household chores and family duties. Sometimes that means I can squeeze in an hour a day to write. Other times that means I might get 5 minutes if I’m lucky and can do it while vacuuming. Or washing dishes. Not good.

First, make the time to write. I now arrive 20 minutes earlier to work and use that quiet time to write. Luckily no one else is in the office so I can write without anyone bugging me.

Second, use writing prompts. This helped immensely. Will every writing prompt fit the theme of my blog? No, but I can tweak them enough to make it fit. (This falls into the no excuses category of get your writing done).

Third, use a friend. I turn to a core group of friends including Jeff Rivera (check out his website here) because he holds me accountable. And he knows when I’m dodging his phone calls and emails that I need to be nudged back into the “get your butt into a chair and write” category.

One last note on procrastination: Instead of counting down your days between creative bursts, make yourself write every day. Even if you write a paragraph or a page a day, that still brings you closer to your writing goal. The more you push yourself, the more natural it feels to write regularly.

Now go forth and write!